The letter arrived Thursday, May 5, postmarked May 2, 2022 in Salt Lake City, Utah from my writing friend Glenda Funk, who lives in Idaho. I observed every square inch of the envelope – her return address seal, a blue circular sticker the size of a half-dollar with a bird surrounded by leaves, put a smile on my face. Next, I noticed the handwriting – exceptionally beautiful, especially for someone who has had two recent eye surgeries and has NOT let her less than perfect vision sap even one ounce of the hunger she has for passionately living a full life of travel and making a difference in the lives of others (she is a private person, but listen up: there are some people who work tirelessly behind the scenes by choice to lift others up every day, and she is one of them). Finally, I noticed the stamp – a Women Vote 19th Amendment Forever stamp. Yes, everything about this envelope addressed to me built my anticipation for what was inside.
When I opened it, the first thing I saw was a red and white bookmark with the image of Mark Twain at the bottom. Travel is Fatal to Prejudice, it said. “Found the perfect bookmark for you,” she wrote. She knows from all of our shared writing that we both have an insatiable desire to see the world and to make every day an adventure. I read this in her writing, see it in her posts. Here’s a woman who drives out to go get her new glasses and ends up in Red Butte Garden and Arboretum with her husband while she waits for her lenses to be switched.
And as I read her letter, touching tears pooled in my eyes. The letter was personalized to me, but was sent to a group of people to share that she had decided that her monthly theme would be a postcard project to share the postcards that she has collected from her many years of travel. She explained that she has purchased lots of postcards during her journeys, and while she intended to mail them then, she never did – so she would embark on a Postcard Project for the month of May, reliving memories and bringing smiles to friends as they checked their mailboxes across the country. She’d also be writing in response to reading (she gave me a perfect June theme, so I’m going to take this and run with it, starting today in May in a hammock in F D Roosevelt State Park in Pine Mountain, Georgia.
At the end of her letter, she explains that her Postcard Project is about her commitment to continued daily writing, so recipients should not feel the obligation to write back. I believe that, and I also know this: these postcards are a way of sharing self, of offering a moment of connection, of bringing a smile to the faces of those who will receive them, and most of all – of saying you matter to me. And there is not a single soul anywhere who does not need to be reminded that we matter.
Thank you, Glenda!
The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.